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Autopsien retten Kinderleben

SEATTLE – Daten sind heutzutage in einem solchen Überfluss vorhanden und zugänglich, dass wir uns daran gewöhnt haben, uns erst zu entscheiden, wenn wir so viele Fakten wie möglich gesammelt haben. Je wichtiger die Entscheidung, desto eifriger wollen wir sicherstellen, dass unsere Nachforschungen gründlich und unsere Informationen richtig sind.

Und trotzdem stehen uns für eine der wichtigsten Entscheidungen, die wir heutzutage zu treffen haben, nur sehr wenig Daten zur Verfügung. Als Teil der Nachhaltigen Entwicklungsziele, die von den Vereinten Nationen im vergangenen September verabschiedet wurden, hat sich die internationale Gemeinschaft verpflichtet, den vermeidbaren Todesfällen von Kindern unter fünf Jahren bis 2030 ein Ende zu bereiten. Und dennoch verfügen wir in den Regionen mit den höchsten Sterblichkeitsraten nicht über die grundlegendsten Informationen darüber, warum Kinder sterben. Wir wissen, dass Infektionskrankheiten die meisten Todesfälle verursachen, aber wir wissen nicht, welche. Wenn es darum geht, wie wir unsere Ressourcen am effektivsten einsetzen, sind wir praktisch mit Blindheit geschlagen.

Seit 1990 haben wir die Kindersterblichkeit weltweit um die Hälfte verringert. Trotzdem sterben immer noch fast sechs Millionen Kinder in der afrikanischen Sahelzone oder in Südasien, Regionen mit wenig Ärzten und noch weniger Pathologen. Routinemäßige Untersuchungen der Todesursachen sind selten. In vielen Fällen gibt es nicht einmal eine Sterbeurkunde.

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